Wednesday 14 October 2020

Wannabe - The summer of 1996! #Blogtober20

I am taking part in Blogtober20 throughout October and today's prompt is "Wannabe".

We all have a song that when you hear it you are taken back to a time and place and when I hear the song Wannabe by the Spice Girls it takes me right back to the summer of 1996. It really was the best summer!

I had just finished my GCSE's and had left school and had all of the summer ahead of me. My best friend and I had no plans apart from having fun! 

I lived in Stockton on Tees and each year they had a massive festival which used to last a week or so including street theatre, acrobats, parades, bands playing music, lots of stalls, a fair and lots of different vans selling food. The majority of the shows were free and it was a very exciting time. Now it's called the Stockton International Riverside Festival and it still happens every year.

In the summer of 1996 part of the festival happened right on my doorstep. My families home was next to Trinity Green, we used to call it "the churchyard or the chuggy. It was a big field with a burnt out church in the middle.

Just before the festival started the performers set up camp in the churchyard and the tents started going up and my friends and I started to make friends with them. We were a cheeky lot of kids especially my brother and his friends and in no time he had got us all free tickets to the circus which was performing. It wasn't a normal circus though it was The Circus of Horrors. I am sure they just wanted to keep the locals happy.

The Circus of Horrors is a British contemporary circus, combining horror, black comedy and rock and roll with circus acts. The circus uses goth and steampunk imagery and references victorian freak shows and burlesque.

It was a fantastic show. By rights my brother and his friends shouldn't have been let in without an adult but I guess my friends and I counted as that. lol 

On about the 3rd or 4th day of the festival my brother had made friends with people on the stalls and had got himself a job helping out. He was about 14 years old. He was nice enough to share the money he got with me which meant there was plenty of hot dogs and treats for us to eat.

There was a band on one night in the circus tent and my friend and I met them even though we had no idea who they were. They were called Dodgy. We scored ourselves free tickets to the show and only knew one of their songs. Good Enough.

I think we earned the tickets listening to them practice and do their sound checks all day because of course we weren't going to stay inside when the sun was shining and there were lots of things to see with the festival going on.

Usually I had to be in by 9pm on an evening, my dad was super strict but while the festival was here I was allowed to stay out until I got bored. My friend stopped at my house for the whole time the festival was on and my dad knew we'd be OK as there was plenty of police, security guards and people we knew about. I don't think we made it back into the house before 11pm each night. 

Before we knew it the festival was over and everyone was packing up and leaving. This was where my friends and I had a great idea, to walk around and pick up all the money that had been dropped. My friend and I must have collected about £30 which was a lot of money for us at the time. So we got on the bus and took ourselves off ice skating. The disco at the Forum in Billingham was where all the cool boys hung out. lol

When was your best summer?


  1. It is lovely hearing a song from the past and being transported back to the memories. It sounds like you had an amazing few days x

  2. Sounds like you had an awesome time! The circus of horror sounds interesting.

  3. What brilliant memories to share. It sounds like you had a close bond with your brother and all your mateswhich is so precious xx

  4. hahaha this sounds epic! My best summer was Y2K. Similar to you, I'd just left school. I was blowing off steam massive style as my mum has just come out of rehab. I worked 8-5 in a bubble bath factory then went out partying all weekend long. Literally. :-| I wrote about it for my day 14 too xx #blogtober